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I Found My Perfect Red Lipstick, Courtesy of the J.Crew Catalog!

I ALWAYS love the lipstick at J.Crew's fashion week presentations. It's usually Nars, and usually a bright, upbeat color that looks good with all those bright, upbeat clothes. (One season, it was Funny Face, an almost-iridescent fuchsia. The next? Heat Wave, the perfect geranium-orange.)

The catalog features great lips too. For the September Style Guide's Tokyo spread, the models are wearing what I consider the ideal red, at least for my coloring. I've got fair skin and almost-black hair, and for some reason nearly every red—even the really orange-y ones—look more pink on me than anything else. This color, however, appeared to consist of so much yellow that it might work.

And so I was desperate to find its origins. I had a hunch it was Nars—and that it was one of the brand's chubby Velvet Matte lip pencils—but the color stumped me.

I took an educated guess and tried Dragon Girl, a classic red. It sure looked lovely, but very burgundy.

After pretty much giving up, a friend at J.Crew tipped me off: the makeup artists used Nars' Red Square, a Velvet Matte lip pencil available at Barneys.com for $24. I bought, tried it, and loved it. This is—seriously, seriously, seriously—the first red lipstick that actually looks RED on me! Thank you, J.Crew, for being both inspiring and utilitarian.

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